Arabs Shocked by TV Images of Saddam's Sons
Friday, July 25, 2003; 2:17 PM
DUBAI (Reuters) - Televised images of the bodies of Saddam Hussein's sons shocked many Arabs on Friday, who said it was un-Islamic to exhibit corpses, however much the brothers were loathed.
Arab and international networks showed the bodies identified as Uday and Qusay, laid out at the makeshift airport morgue, their faces partly rebuilt to repair wounds.
"Although Uday and Qusay are criminals, displaying their corpses like this is disgusting and repulsive. America claims it is civilized but is behaving like a thug," Saudi civil servant Saad Brikan, 42, told Reuters in Riyadh.
Another civil servant Hasan Hammoud, 35, said: "America always spoils its own image by doing something like this. What is the advantage of showing these bodies? Didn't they think about the humanitarian aspect? About their mother and the rest of their family when they see these images?"
The brothers died on Tuesday after U.S. forces lay siege to the villa in northern Iraq where they were hiding.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he ordered their bodies to be shown to convince frightened Iraqi's that Saddam's reign was truly over.
But prominent Saudi cleric Mohsen al-Awajy said: "This has been a dirty war from the beginning and it is difficult for us to find any morals or dignity in the middle of this.
"The Americans want to show the Iraqis that they are achieving their goals...There was no need to show the bodies."
He said while under Islam the bodies should be treated with sanctity, Iraqis would not forget that Uday and Qusay had committed vicious crimes against them.
"We shouldn't forget the pain of the Iraqis. These are just two casualties, and it would be better if their graves were kept secret, otherwise the Iraqis will attack their graves."
Mohammad Emara, an Egyptian Islamist scholar, told Al Jazeera television that displaying the bodies publicly was against Islamic Sharia law.
"Under Islamic law this is rejected. America wanted to boost the morale of its soldiers so it resorted to this illegal act which is denounced by all religions.
"America said during its war on Iraq that displaying pictures of its soldiers who were alive was against the Geneva convention so what about pictures showing disfigured bodies?"
Yay, us. Cripes.